Gardens can act as important stepping stones between nature reserves and other natural habitats by offering abundant supplies of nectar. Butterflies will visit any garden, however small as long as they can feed from suitable nectar rich plants.
A well thought out garden can attract up to 18 species of butterfly. If you manage your patch to create breeding habitat you may see even more.
It is common knowledge that bees are very important for plant pollination but not many people know that butterflies are important too! The butterfly populations are in decline and if we don’t act we could lose them, but luckily it won’t take big actions. Even a small patio tub can make a big difference!
- Butterflies like warmth so choose sunny, sheltered spots when planting nectar rich plants.
- Try to provide flowers right through the butterfly season. Autumn flowers help butterflies build up their reserves for hibernation.
- Leaving cut fruit out for your winged friends can help them a lot. They particularly like oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi, apples, watermelon, and Banana (especially Mushy bananas that have been frozen then defrosted).
- Don't use insecticides and pesticides. They kill butterflies and many pollinating insects as well as ladybirds, ground beetles and spiders. Try finding a natural alternative.
- Hanging an insect house is a great way of encouraging the growth of natural predators of pests in your butterfly garden. These natural predators will reduce the need for pesticides, keeping the air and flowers clean for the butterflies.
- Let the plants in your butterfly garden die back naturally. Not only may there be butterflies hibernating in there but they lay eggs in that area throughout the summer and autumn.
Top 10 Most Common Butterflies Found In The UK